Archive | 7:45 pm

Maytag Blue Cheese is the Best

19 Sep

You must experience this blue cheese!

I enjoyed lunch today at Tommy Bahama’s Tropical Cafe on Lido Key. I started out with a cup of their Tortula Tortilla Soup. The soup was chock full of white chicken meat and topped with a couple of sprigs of fresh cilantro and some sour cream — really good! I could have devoured a couple more cups, but I wanted to save room for my entree — the St. Croix Salad. This salad featured grilled chicken, Granny Smith apples, tomatoes, sweet white corn, hickory smoked bacon, croutons, and Maytag blue cheese — all drenched with a tangy honey-lime vinegrette.

The salad’s flavors blended perfectly, yet one truly delicious flavor stood out from the rest. That was the incredible Maytag blue cheese from the great state of Iowa. I have long heard Emeril Lagasse and other top chefs sing the praises of Maytag, but I couldn’t really imagine one blue cheese being that much better than the next. Boy, was I wrong! Maytag’s profile is nothing short of a flavor explosion — creamy and pungent without being overpowering or, well, stinky. I suggest you try it ASAP. It’s amazing!  

I pulled the following paragraph from the Maytag website:

On October 11, 1941, the first wheels of Maytag Blue Cheese were formed and put to age in our caves. Not much has changed since then, although our truck is newer and our cheesemakers are older! Today, we still make each wheel by hand, aging it in our caves twice as long as most other blue cheeses. After all, why change a good thing?

For more info or to order, go to www.maytagdairyfarms.com

Durham NC’s Counter Culture Coffee

19 Sep

Has anyone out there tried this brand of java? We look forward to tasting it.

They’re a Southern-based brand, so we’ll try to promote & support them.

There’s nothing more exciting than introducing people to authentic, delicious coffee that is produced with care by talented farmers dedicated to fair, democratic principles, sustainable agriculture, and the cultivation of the highest quality coffees imaginable. For more than a decade, we have spent an unprecedented amount of time working side by side with our partners at origin to source the greatest coffees in the world, directly from the farmers themselves, celebrating the individuals, farms, and cultures behind each harvest. Coffee is a seasonal fruit, and like any responsible purveyor of fresh produce, we only sell coffee at the peak of flavor and freshness; and we roast skillfully, in small batches, to bring out each coffee’s singular characteristics and “taste of place.”

We also have a mission to create cutting-edge coffee people, and through our regional training centers and industry-leading coffee education, this mission extends beyond our employees to our customers, friends, and ultimately to the general public. We’ve found that the more informed you are about coffee, the better we are forced to perform. So, browse around, join our ‘insider’ newsletter, and by all means let us know what you think!

Learn more at www.counterculturecoffee.com

Breakfast Trout with Bacon

19 Sep

Sounds good, doesn’t it?

SERVES 4

The wilderness of northern Maine offers plenty of outdoor activities, among them trout fishing. Rising early is imperative, but the rewards are worth it: the thrill of the catch, and a hearty breakfast like this one.

4 thick slices bacon
4  8–10-oz. trout, cleaned, heads and tails on
1 cup yellow cornmeal
Salt and pepper
1⁄3 cup vegetable oil

1. Fry bacon in a large, heavy skillet until brown and crisp, about 15 minutes. Drain on paper towels and set aside. Reserve bacon fat in pan.

2. Rinse fish and dredge in cornmeal. Salt and pepper both sides to taste. Add vegetable oil to the bacon pan. Heat the pan until very hot, then fry fish in oil and fat for about 5 minutes. Carefully turn the fish (a wide, long spatula is ideal for the task), then cook the other side. Shake the pan frequently to ensure that the fish doesn’t stick. Trout should be golden and crisp on the outside, moist and tender inside. (If your pan is too small, cook fish in batches and keep warm in a low oven.) Serve 1 trout per person, garnished with bacon.

 
This recipe was first published in Saveur in Issue #2; www.saveur.com